Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Super Monster Gamera (1980)

Today’s selection: Super Monster Gamera (1980, dir. Noriaki Yuasa)

Subgenre: Kaiju

Available from: Shout Factory (you might want to get the Elvira version, though)

There are bad Gamera movies. Below them, there are really bad Gamera movies, the ones that weren’t even good enough to merit treatment on Mystery Science Theater. Below them, there is Super Monster Gamera. The movie, produced after a nine-year hiatus in Gamera’s movie cycle, is composed mostly of stock footage from the previous seven Gamera films, and the new footage: A) Rips off Star Wars, Superman, Ultraman, and whatever else was popular at the time, B) tries to take a jab at the objectively superior Godzilla franchise, and C) has Gamera meet the Galaxy Express 999 and Space Battleship Yamato. The whole thing plays like a cynical cash-grab, a cheap re-edit that more akin to Power Rangers than something actually worked on by Gamera’s legit creators (again, that’s not to say that the other showa Gamera movies are all good, merely that they all appeared to have some sort of effort behind them). If I have to say something good about the flick, it’s that such a grueling death for the Showa Gamera series juxtaposed the glory of the 90’s revival all that much more strongly.

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